Wednesday, June 13, 2018

By Jonathan Cooper

 

SACRAMENTO (AP)—Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders said Friday that they've reached an agreement on California's next budget following negotiations focused on balancing assistance for people in poverty with the need to prepare for future economic emergencies.

Brown and lawmakers released few details of their agreement. A news release from Brown's office said the agreement “makes record investments in schools and universities, creates the state's first online community college, fully fills the Rainy Day Fund, boosts child care and combats homelessness and poverty.”

Economists estimate that California has the largest surplus in decades, but Brown and senior lawmakers disagree on its size. Estimates range from $8.8 billion to more than $11 billion.

Brown reached the deal with Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount, and Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, D-San Diego.

Democratic lawmakers were looking to expand health care coverage for people living in the country illegally and increase welfare grants for families in poverty. It wasn't immediately clear if the budget includes those priorities, though statements from Rendon and Atkins indicated they were pleased with the deal.

“No single budget can capture all the opportunities California has, or meet all the challenges we face—but the smart and sensible choices in this budget absolutely move California closer to where we want and need to be,” Rendon said.

A legislative committee was scheduled to consider the agreement later Friday. The full Assembly and Senate face a June 15 deadline to approve the deal.